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Old 03-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default Adding water after steeping grains

I was making a 5 gallon IPA batch yesterday and the recipe called for 3 gallons water to be boiled and the remaining two gallons to be added to the fermenter. During the middle of the steeping process I realized I only added two gallons of water to the kettle and not three. The recipe called for 6 lbs of Amber DME, and 6 oz. of hops. I felt that was a lot of DME to add to only 2 gallons of water. After the steeping process was finished I slowly added an additional gallon of water to the wort as I was bringing it to a boil. Is this bonehead mistake going to affect my beer? The OG came out around 1.06. There is no gravity reference on the recipe so I don't really know where it's supposed to be at. I checked the primary fermenter this morning and the airlock is bubbling so I'm good on fermentation, for now. Please advise. Thanks!

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Old 03-12-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Adding the third gallon after removing the steeping grains is ok. You'd still have to had brung it to a boil,getting the hot break right before it boiled. Then do all the hop additions. Not a real big goof.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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No problem at all, I usually only steep in about 1.2 qts per pound anyway, just a habit from mashing.

You do want to boil with the largest volume you can accomodate so if you can boil 4 gallons and only add 1 to the fermentor that's even better. The larger your boil volume the better, especially in lighter colored beers (read about Maillard reactions).

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Old 03-12-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Depending on how many pounds of steeping grains you had, you might have slightly less efficiency than you would have if you had boiled all 3 gallons (or 5 even) but I doubt you would even be able to tell a difference.

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Old 03-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bleme View Post
Depending on how many pounds of steeping grains you had, you might have slightly less efficiency than you would have if you had boiled all 3 gallons (or 5 even) but I doubt you would even be able to tell a difference.
That was a concern I had. With my 8 gallon kettle, 2 gallons of water doesn't allow the grains to sit under the water as well as 3 would have. I used 1/2 lb of Crystal 90l.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
You do want to boil with the largest volume you can accomodate so if you can boil 4 gallons and only add 1 to the fermentor that's even better. The larger your boil volume the better, especially in lighter colored beers (read about Maillard reactions).
Just a question on this, though... some of what I've been reading says that hops utilization will change for these kit recipes when you change the boil volume. They all say that when you increase the volume you'll get higher IBUs. I wouldn't think that increasing to full (or larger) boil volume would be advisable unless you account for a different hops quantity or schedule, right?
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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good question jay.. i had just finished up my second brew.. a Red Ale Brewers Best kit. second time around was easier than my first. I have been sticking with 2.5 gallons (my pot could hold 3 with enough boil over room) Yet to try them tho.. only a week and 1/2 for the American Amber .. and just 15 hrs for the Red Ale. Cant wait to try the Amber after the 3-4 week bottle conditioning.

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